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Cablegate: Taking a Lead in the Energy and Climate Partnership of The

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DE RUEHBO #0141/01 0341617
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031616Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2480
INFO RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
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UNCLAS BOGOTA 000141

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG ECON PREL KSUM
SUBJECT: TAKING A LEAD IN THE ENERGY AND CLIMATE PARTNERSHIP OF THE
AMERICAS

REF: STATE 10075

1. (SBU) Summary. Colombia plans to host the first regional
Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) meeting in
Bogota on February 26 in preparation for the April ECPA
ministerial. Department of Energy officials visited Bogota to
assist the GOC's planning efforts. The regional meeting is
expected to provide an overview of ECPA, objectives for the April
ECPA ministerial, and a presentation on Colombia's ECPA initiative
-- regional electricity interconnection. Colombia plans to invite
government and private sector representatives from the Andean
countries, Chile, Panama, United States, and officials from the
Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE), the Regional Energy
Integration Commission (CIER), the Inter-American Development Bank
(IDB), the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), and the
Organization of American States (OAS). End Summary.

ECPA strengthens Colombia's regional and bilateral relationships

--------------------------------------------- -------------------

2. (SBU) In its efforts to be a regional energy player and support
U.S. initiatives, the GOC is assuming a leadership role in the ECPA
program (reftel). Colombia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and
Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) agreed to host a regional
meeting in preparation for the April ECPA ministerial in Washington
D.C. Department of Energy (DOE) officials, American Affairs
Director Gary Ward and International Relations Specialist Lindsay
Einstein, visited Bogota January 27-30 to help MFA and MME
officials plan the regional meeting, scheduled for February 26,
2010 in Bogota at the MFA.

3. (SBU) MFA's Vice-Minister Adriana Mejia Hernandez and MME's
Vice-Minister Silvana Giaimo will host the event. Giaimo stressed
to us that ECPA will strengthen its relationships both regionally
and bilaterally. She also noted that energy is one of seven areas
in which the Ministry of Trade wants to strengthen since it creates
both domestic and international business for Colombia.

4. (SBU) The GOC plans to invite Director-level MFA and Ministry
of Energy representatives from the Andean region (Bolivia, Ecuador,
Peru, and Venezuela), Chile, and Panama. Also invited are members
from the business communities involved in electricity
interconnection from each respective country. GOC is counting on
OLADE, CIER, IDB, and OAS participation. DOE Deputy Assistant
Secretary for International Energy Cooperation Phyllis Yoshida
plans to represent the United States at the February 26 event.

5. (SBU) The regional ECPA meeting will present an overview of
ECPA, discuss objectives for the April ECPA ministerial, highlight
benefits of regional electricity interconnection, and outline
Colombia's regional interconnection initiative, which looks to
interconnect Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. The GOC
also will note its interconnection with Venezuela (to not leave
them in the dark) and its interconnection project with Panama
(which is on track to be completed by late 2012 and provide Panama
300MW of hydroelectric generated power).

6. (SBU) DOE officials also met with the private sector, the
Andean Development Corporation (CAF), Ecopetrol, and other GOC
offices, including the Ministry of Environment and the National
Hydrocarbon Agency to drum up support for the regional ECPA meeting
and the April ECPA ministerial. All noted high interest in the two
events and were enthusiastic about participating in both.


GOC's long-term vision on ECPA

------------------------------

7. (SBU) Comment. The GOC, as well as the private sector, has
shown strong interest in hosting a regional ECPA event. Colombia's
vision of ECPA is long-term, because it sees ECPA as an integral
theme for the next Summit of the Americas, scheduled to take place
in Cartagena in April/May 2012. Colombia's regional
interconnection initiative is well thought out and has private
sector buy-in. But two weak links have surfaced: lack of smart
grid technology and the need for technical assistance to improve
electricity transmission over long distances.
BROWNFIELD

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